1 A Primer on Digital Modulation By Bertrand Zauhar, VE2ZAZ August 2013
2 In this Presentation Modulation Fundamentals Real Life Communications Design Constraints Digital Modulation (DM) Tradeoffs DM Graphical Representation Specifics of several DM schemes DM Mod./Demod. Generation Typical Digital Radio Existing DM Protocols
3 An Analog World... Only three fundamental ways to modulate: Amplitude Modulation (AM), Frequency Modulation (FM), Phase Modulation (PM). Any modulation format, whether analog or digital, must use one or more of the above analog schemes.
4 Modulation Fundamentals
5 Constraints in Comm Systems Design The Communications Systems designers face the following constraints Available bandwidth, Permissible power, Inherent noise level and other impairments of the system. Electrical energy availability. Cost...
6 Digital Modulations (DM) Analog modulations continuously variable over amplitude, frequency and/or phase. Digital modulations similar to analog modulations, varying RF amplitude, frequency or phase, BUT The parameters being modulated take on a specific set of waveform states or symbols. VS.
7 Known Benefits of DM More information capacity, For any given bandwidth More bandwidth-efficient, Higher data security, Encoding, Encryption Better quality communications, Noise-Free, error correction
8 Fundamental Tradeoff Analog Modulation simple to create and detect, but is bandwidth inefficient. Digital modulation (DM) is more bandwidth and/or power efficient, but more complex to generate and decode.
9 Industry Trends From Analog... To digital (vector-based) To digital (multiplexed, complex encoding,...) Evolution of Radio
10 Polar Representation Simultaneous magnitude and phase representation.
11 I - Q Representation Rectangular representation of the polar diagram using coordinates (I,Q). Signal vector's projection onto I axis and Q axis.
12 Constellation Diagram Example above is QPSK. Num. Bits carried / Symbol = Number of I-Q Points
13 Phase Shift Keying (PSK) Phase of constant amplitude carrier shifted 180 degrees, or 90 degrees. Quadrature-PSK more BW efficient than Bi- PSK.
14 Frequency Shift Keying (FSK) Frequency of a constant amplitude carrier shifted or not, representing a symbol. BFSK: Two frequencies represent two symbols, (0 and 1, for example) Not well illustrated with an IQ constellation
15 Min. Shift Keying (MSK) A type of FSK with constant phase/constant amplitude carrier, shifted or not, representing a symbol. Sinusoidal shaping. Frequency difference between the 1 and 0 is always equal to half the data rate, Reduces required bandwidth to minimum
16 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) Both Amplitude and Phase are varied to obtain a more complex constellation of symbols. More efficient than BPSK, QPSK, or 8PSK. Bandwidth #bit-times smaller Note that QPSK = 4QAM 16QAM 4 bits per Symbol Symbol rate = 1/4 bit rate 32QAM 5 bits per Symbol Symbol rate = 1/5 bit rate
17 Modulation variations I/Q offset modulation: has power efficiency advantages QPSK: the I and Q bit streams are switched at the same time OQPSK: the I and Q bit streams are offset in their relative alignment by one bit period
18 Modulation variations Differential modulation: has bandwidth efficiency advantages QPSK: information is carried by the absolute state DQPSK: information is not carried by the absolute state, it is carried by the transition between states.
19 Modulation variations Constant amplitude modulation: has power efficiency advantages. Can use Class-C stages (non-linear) QPSK: amplitude of carrier varies during transitions, GMSK (GSM): amplitude of the carrier is constant, regardless of the variation in the modulating signal.
20 Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) Not a basic modulation principle, rather a coding technique using several orthogonal sub-carriers (frequencies) to convey data. Each sub-carrier is modulated traditionally (such as PSK, QAM) at a slower data rate vs. single carrier system. Advantageous against: Channel frequency roll-off, Multipath fading, Narrowband interference
21 Orthogonality In the symbol period T, we can use sinusoidal waveforms which have integer number of periods in the T.
22 Spread-Spectrum (SS) Signal generated with a known bandwidth is deliberately spread in the frequency domain. Typically sequential noise-like spectrum. Frequency Hopping (FHSS) and/or Direct Sequence (DSSS) modulation mainly used. Pseudo-random number sequences determine and control the spreading pattern of the signal. Tx-Rx Synchronization critical! Advantageous against: Jamming, Eavesdropping, Fading
23 Theoretical Bandwidth Efficiency Limits Give a good idea of relative bandwidth efficiency. Theoretical: cannot be achieved with real radio components and links. Compromises...
24 Filtering Slows down the transitions. Allows the transmitted bandwidth to be significantly reduced. Any fast transition in a signal, whether it be amplitude, phase, or frequency, will require a wider occupied bandwidth. May require more power to transmit (larger excursions) Tradeoffs! Common Filters - Raised cosine - Square-root raised cosine - Gaussian filters
25 Real Life Constellations Missing points? Impairments Transitions
26 Digital Mod / Demod Generation I Q format practical Digital modulators and demodulators are easy to implement. I Q independence preserved Transmitter (Modulator) Receiver (Demodulator)
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